I have just recently spent a few
days (19th to 22nd November 2003) visiting a number of
interesting locations within the NSW Hunter Region (160 to 340km north of Sydney
CBD) and enjoyed quite a number of interesting sightings of mainly birds and a
few other animals during that time. Some of the interesting locations and
wildlife seen included:
IRRAWONG RESERVE (just out of
Raymond Terrace, approx.170km north of Sydney) ? 2 Plumed Egrets, 10
Royal and 3 Yellow-billed Spoonbills, 2 Red-kneed Dotterels, 200 plus
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, White-winged Trillers, Tawny Grassbird and Striped
Honeyeater. There were also lots of Cattle Egrets nesting at nearby Seaham
Nature Reserve as I drove past.
PARK (approx. 250 km north of Sydney CBD)
I did not spent too much time
here but I had a brief stop at the end of Violet Hill Rd where I saw a
Wedge-tailed Eagle fly low over the trees, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Cicadabirds and
Scarlet Honeyeaters (which were abundant there and all the way through Forster.
As I had my window down all I could hear is there sweet calls just about every
second. They appear to be as often, one of the most common birds along the NSW
coast in summer north of
HILLVILLE (near Taree, approx.
300 km north of Sydney)
A Brown Goshawk, a single
Latham?s Snipe in the dam beside Hillville
Rd, Peaceful Doves, Dollarbird, White-bellied
Cuckoo-shrike, Brush Cuckoo etc were present in this area.
PARK / HARRINGTON (near Taree, approx. 340 km north
I spent a good 2 nights looking
for Eastern Grass Owls and again without success (According to the 2002 HBOC
report, back in 1999 Stephen Debus et al saw 9-10 Grass Owls in up to 8 separate
locations within the park and there has been other sightings over recent years.
As can be expected, not many birdos go spot lighting here and in
heathland/swamps and hence a reason why these Owls probably go under recorded).
I searched for the Owls mainly in the area referred to as ?Black fellows? bog
about 5 km down the road to Laurieton from Crowdy Head
Rd and where there has been some recent sightings. At
Black Fellows bog, I did hear King Quail, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater and several
Around Harrington I had a good
mix birds including a Swamp Harrier, a Brahminy Kite, 3 Ospreys, a Great Knot,
Whimbrel, Pied Oystercatchers, Rose-crowned and Wompoo Fruit-doves, Topknot
Pigeons, Bar-shouldered Doves, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, Pheasant Coucal,
Tawny Frogmouth, Owlet Nightjar, Barred (Yellow-eyed) and White-bellied
Cuckoo-shrikes (I saw all Australian Cuckoo-shrike species except for Ground
Cuckoo-shrike at Harrington in a single day), several Varied Trillers and a pair
of White-winged Trillers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Crested Shrike-tit, Leaden
Flycatchers, Spectacled Monarchs, Southern Emu-wrens (one adult fed a young
bird), Red-backed and Variegated Fairy-wrens, White-cheeked and Brown
Honeyeaters, Spangled Drongo, Dusky and White-breasted Woodswallows, Regent
Bowerbirds and Forest Ravens (Torressian Crows were the most common corvid
encountered in most places visited and only a few Australian Ravens were seen
north of Newcastle).
Other animals seen (mainly in the
rainforest next to Harrington lagoon) included several Lace Monitors, a Southern
Angle-headed Dragon (this is like a chameleon like reptile and changes colour to
match its surrounds), 2 Echidnas and a Black Wallaby. I also heard Mountain
Brushtails and Long-nosed Bandicoots.
Pt 2 to